HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) A Cold Case Investigation underway in Hanover Township. Officials exhumed the body of a man from a local cemetery. His body was found on I-80 back in 1996. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick takes a look at the investigation.
State troopers and forensic investigators spent hours at Maple Hill Cemetery Monday, in the hopes that the body of man buried in this grave for the last 21 years can provide information that can help solve his death..
Ultimately our goal is to Identify this individual.” Said Corporal Shawn Williams of the Pennsylvania State Police.
And that has been an impossible task since the body was found along I-80 near White Haven. Andy Mehalshick was there in September of 1996 as state police searched for evidence.
A truck driver found the African American man who was between the ages of 35 and 45. The body was wrapped in a blanket.
The coroner, Dr. George Hudock at the time told the I-Team there were no signs of foul play –like a gunshot wound..
“It suggested he dId somewhere else and was dumped form a car along the side of the road and rolled down the embankment.”
The state police are working with a forensic investigator from Florida. Kelsee Hentchel-Fey
“Some people will come forward decades later saying I never reported my sister missing because I thought she just wanted to get away. We want the public to know ten years later you can file a missing persons report and maybe match it to this individual.” said Hentchel-Fey
Prosecutors say, that after all these years they can pursue criminal charges in the man’s death
“Our ultimate goal is to identify this individual. The death was suspicious in 1996 and if its a homicide we want to detetmine who’s responsible and bring them to justice.” said Sam Sanguedolce- Asst. Luzerne County District Attorney
The body of the man will be taken to the University of South Florida for further study. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.